Chadian security forces entrusted with protecting civilians will need continued international assistance after the United Nations mission withdraws at the end of the year, the top UN envoy in the country said today.
With the UN mission in Chad and Central African Republic (CAR), known by its French acronym MINURCAT, wrapping up on 31 December at Chad’s request, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Representative Youssef Mahmoud reiterated previous warnings about the enormity of the humanitarian challenges in a country hosting nearly 600,000 people in need of aid.
“The humanitarian situation remains a concern and the need for assistance continues to be immense,” he told the Security Council in a briefing on Mr. Ban’s latest report.
In requesting that MINURCAT be removed, Chad has pledged to take on responsibility for the protection of civilians with its Détachement intégré de sécurité (DIS), an integrated security unit which the UN has been helping to train and support.
Currently, 255,000 refugees from the conflict in the Darfur region of neighbouring Sudan, more than 137,500 internally displaced persons (IDPs), some 43,000 returnees, and a host population of 150,000 depend on assistance from 70 humanitarian organizations.
MINURCAT, a multi-dimensional presence that had a maximum strength of 5,500 peacekeepers, had tenuous host-Government consent since Chad repeatedly expressed a strong preference that any international presence be civilian in nature, M. Ban noted in his report.
In his briefing today, Mr. Mahmoud also noted recent instability in eastern CAR.